Are massage chairs good for arthritis? Of course, they are! Read on to learn more about the countless benefits of massage chairs and their effectiveness in treating arthritis patients.
As the primary reason for work disability, arthritis affects over 54 million adults across the US. The annual cost of medical care for arthritis patients surpasses three hundred billion dollars.
It is a painful and degenerative disease affecting the cartilage present at joints. Although it is quite common across the world, it is often misunderstood. In simple words, arthritis is a combination of joint inflammations that aren’t easy to deal with.
Arthritis affects most people in their mid-40s or older. There are many different types of arthritis, depending on the location and cause of inflammation. However, the following two classes are the most common:
- Rheumatoid Arthritis
Before we go through massage therapy’s efficacy in the treatment of arthritis, let’s recognize some of the early signs of the disease. In the initial stage of degeneration, you may notice stiffness in your joints. The joint may swell, causing the skin around it to take a reddish hue. As the degeneration progresses, the muscles around the joint get wasted.
Are Massage Chairs Good For Arthritis Patients?
According to a 2020 survey, one in every five US adults had a massage last year. Massage chairs are the closest thing that you can get to your masseuse. Although they are a significant investment, they have effectively treated soreness, stiffness, and injury rehabilitation.
But the question here is: are massage chairs good for arthritis? Several studies have shown that massage can help relieve pain and reduce stiffness in arthritis patients.
An increasing number of medical experts supports the claim that adding massage therapy to arthritis patients’ routines can be highly beneficial. However, this demands both time and money. Massage chairs are an eloquent solution providing all the advantages of massage therapy from the comfort of your home.
Sounds interesting, right? To understand it better, let’s go through five major health benefits of using a massage chair.
1. Inhibits The Production Of Stress Hormones
Also known as the stress hormone, cortisol is the principal-agent aggravating many mental and physical health disorders. A 2011 review suggests that massage therapy can significantly reduce the cortisol levels in the blood and increase the production of endorphins, chiefly serotonin.
Endorphins are the hormones that create feelings of happiness and boost your mood. So, massage chairs may help in decreasing stress levels and lightening your mood.
Moreover, a recent study shows that massage chairs control the release of a particular neurotransmitter involved in producing the sensation of pain. Thus, the addition of massage therapy to your everyday routine may lead to a decreased perception of pain.
2. Enhances Blood Circulation
Apart from improving blood flow, chair massage therapies are also responsible for promoting better lymphatic circulation.
According to a research report, enhanced lymphatic circulation plays a crucial part in eliminating toxins from the body. It leads to better management of autoimmune diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis.
Not just that, it also results in dilation of the lumen of arteries and veins, which plays a crucial role in relaxing your muscles. Blood flows smoothly through the otherwise congested parts, thus delivering adequate amounts of oxygen to the tissue cells.
3. Prevents Muscle Fatigue
Inflammation in joints causes pain in the surrounding muscles. Your body employs an extra set of muscles to perform its functions typically. This leads to undue stress and pressure in the muscle tissue, producing an imbalance in the concentration of different nutrients.
Chair massage therapies involve numerous controls and settings that allow you to target a specific group of muscles. You can also control the strength and pressure of the stroke to get the desired results.
In short, massage chairs promote muscle relaxation, reduce pain in the tissues surrounding the joint, and help you sleep better.
4. Alleviates Bone & Joints Pain
Managing pain is undoubtedly one of the worst things that arthritis patients have to live with. There is sufficient evidence to prove that chair massage therapies significantly reduce the pain in the inflamed areas.
A 2014 study reveals that conducting massage therapy four times a week can help alleviate pain and manage the symptoms of arthritis. Moreover, it increases the range of motion of the stiffened joints.
Furthermore, a 2016 study suggests that two Swedish chair massage therapy sessions a week for two months can eliminate knee osteoarthritis symptoms. It restores the bone strength, grip, and overall function of the joints.
5. Relieves Tension Along The Spine
Patients who have spinal arthritis can enjoy numerous benefits from chair massage therapy. With the advancements in technology, massage chairs offer incredible correctional features that increase the spine’s flexibility.
Spinal arthritis develops gradually over months. It proliferates as a result of severe pressure on the spinal cord and the nerve endings surrounding it.
Due to its harmful effect on the spinal cord, this form of arthritis can lead to severe complications, including extreme pain radiating to your limbs and numbness of the whole body.
High-quality reclining massage chairs coax the muscles surrounding your vertebral column into a more relaxed position, thus allowing the spine to restore its natural alignment.
How Often Should I Use The Massage Chair?
Medical experts recommend a 15-20 minutes long chair massage therapy session four times a week for arthritis patients. In most cases, regular massage therapy leads to full recovery of the joints.
Moreover, there are many different chair massage therapy techniques, including Shiatsu chair massage therapy, deep tissue chair massage therapy, and Swedish chair massage therapy. If you take blood thinners or have undergone surgery recently, you should avoid using a massage chair.
Massage therapy has been used for decades for relaxation and therapeutic purposes. When life is so hectic, a good massage becomes necessary to maintain good health. However, with a busy schedule, it's hard to find time to visit spas and masseuses regularly. That's where a massage chair comes in handy. It makes your self-care convenient and comforting. It's nice knowing that at the end of an exhausting day, you can enjoy a relaxing and soothing massage in the comfort of your home.
Massage chairs aren't only used for relaxation, but they can do much more. Keep reading to explore the amazing benefits of massage chairs.
Read more: Best massage chair under $10000
Read more about How I use HSA/FSA
What are the benefits of a massage chair?
The following are some common benefits of massage chairs. Knowing them will help you to decide if a massage chair is a good purchase for you.
Improves blood circulation
One benefit of a massage chair is that it improves blood circulation throughout the body. Good blood circulation has several health benefits. It ensures the continuous supply of oxygen and other important nutrients throughout the body. It also helps get rid of toxins and waste, promotes healing, and keeps your heart and other organs healthy.
The rollers of the massage chair send vibrations through the body. A few minutes in a massage chair can improve blood circulation from head to toe.
The massage chairs with zero-gravity features are specially designed to improve blood circulation, decrease the stress load on the heart, and improve several circulatory problems.
Improves immune system
Massage chairs may help boost your immune system in many ways. They improve blood circulation and lymphatic flow, which filter out metabolic waste and toxins from the body. They reduce stress, and thereby strengthen the immune system. One study shows that massage can elevate the level of lymphocytes in the body, by reducing the stress level.
Improves quality of sleep
If you have insomnia or other sleeping problems, consider getting a massage chair for yourself. It can help improve your quality of sleep. Massage helps to fight insomnia by increasing levels of serotonin, a neurotransmitter. Serotonin helps the body to get into a deep sleep by helping the brain synthesize melatonin. Melatonin is the hormone responsible for initiating and maintaining sleep.
Research has found that massage increases the delta waves, brain waves that are connected with the deepest sleep.
The massage chair is not only good for relaxing your muscles, but it also improves your posture. Many of us have habits that lead to poor posture. Poor posture is not good for your health as it can cause pain in the neck, shoulder, and back. Over time, poor posture can reduce the flexibility of your muscles, throw off the balance of your body, and make it hard for you to breathe and digest food.
The continued use of a good massage chair can correct misalignments of the spinal, neck, and shoulder muscles. The shape of the chair assists your spine in aligning itself to its natural position. It helps loosen the muscles in your back and neck to improve your posture.
Relaxes sore muscles
Strenuous activities like exercising, playing sports, or even spending a long day at work can make your muscles stiff and sore. This is due to the accumulation of lactic acid in the tissues. which is a substance produced in the absence of oxygen. A massage chair helps relax and loosen tense and sore muscles. Especially with the shiatsu massage mode, it can increase blood circulation which helps to supply oxygen to the fatigued muscles.
Relieves stress, anxiety, and depression
In today's world, many people suffer from anxiety and depression because of busy lifestyles, increased social pressure, and more. Massage can reduce stress on both physical and psychological levels. Massage chairs can lower your heart rate, decrease your blood pressure, reduce your cortisol and insulin levels, and increase the release of serotonin, dopamine, and endorphins. These neurotransmitters help the body deal with acute and chronic stress.
One study conducted in 2020 found that just 10 minutes of massage can help the body's nervous system to better manage stress.
Another well-known study by the University of Miami School of Medicine's Touch Research Institute concluded that 15 minutes in a massage chair improves the measurable EEG brain activity in adults.
A study conducted in 2010 titled “Treatment Effects of Massage Therapy in Depressed People: A Meta-Analysis," found that massage therapy is significantly helpful in alleviating depressive symptoms.
Regular use of a massage chair can be an effective way to manage pain in different areas of the body. It is beneficial in tackling lower back pain. For many people, massage is more promising in reducing lower back pain than any other method. The gentle vibration of massage chairs works on overly tight muscles and helps them relax, thereby relieving pain.
Headaches can be caused by many factors such as lack of sleep, stress, ischemia, and muscle spasms in the head and neck. A massage chair helps to counter all the root causes of headaches. It increases the blood flow to the head, reduces spasms, and decreases the activity of muscular trigger points associated with headaches. The best massage chairs may help to decrease the frequency and intensity of headaches.
Improves lymphatic drainage
The lymphatic system is one of the most important systems of the body. It helps keep you healthy by removing toxins and bacteria from your body. Like the circulatory system, it has lymphatic vessels and nodes for the flow of lymph fluid. However, it lacks the heart-like motor for pumping the lymph fluid into the vessels. The lymphatic system mostly relies on the movement of smooth muscles to circulate lymph fluid. Sometimes blockages in the path of lymph circulation can lead to swelling. If neglected lymph stagnation can lead to lymphedema.
Massage chairs help drain lymphatic fluid through stretching and vigorous massage. As a result, they help reduce inflammation in the body. The zero-gravity feature in massage chairs is especially helpful for lymph drainage.
A study conducted in 2022 proved that lymphatic massage therapy is very beneficial for opening the lymphatic vessels and draining the excess fluid to the proximal lymph nodes.
Improves flexibility and range of motion
As a result of any muscle injury, collagen fibers naturally start to build up over the damaged area for healing purposes. However, these fibers do not always follow the perfect pattern and can be formed unevenly. This inhibits the movement and flexibility of the affected muscles.
Massage chairs can increase flexibility and improve range of motion by stretching and loosening the muscles. Releasing knots and scar tissue and increasing blood circulation ultimately lead to improvements in flexibility and range of motion.
Prevents potential injuries
Massage chairs are not only useful for existing injuries, but they also prevent the occurrence of new ones. For example, the use of massage chairs for post-workout recovery results in reduced muscle tension and strain.
Promotes faster healing
Massage chairs speed up the healing process by improving blood circulation in injured areas. A steady supply of oxygen, important nutrients, and white blood cells encourage quick healing.
Boosts energy levels
Massage chairs help to re-energize you after a long and tiring day. They relax your tired muscles and boost your energy levels.
Read more: Why is a massage chair good for you?
All Zarifa USA products are HSA and FSA-eligible. This means you can contribute your health savings funds towards the purchase of any of our products!